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Get ready for salmon in Carkeek Park!

Amazingly, salmon return every fall to spawn in Pipers Creek Watershed.  This is an all-too-rare success story in urban creeks that is well worth witnessing and learning more about.

A few Chum and Coho salmon were sighted as early as October 19 this year.  More fish, if they’re gathering in numbers out in the Sound, will need some rain events and favorable tides to bring them in.

Last year in the Fall of 2016, the first sighting of Chum salmon was on October 27; October 26 the year before in the Fall of 2015.  That doesn’t mean they won’t begin their run into Piper’s Creek a little earlier or a little later.

Upcoming is the annual Salmon Stewards Program sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).  Go to the park on Saturday and/or Sunday from Nov4 to Dec3 2017, 11am to 2pm.  There you will find friendly Salmon Stewards in great looking blue vests, an information canopy, and determined salmon seeking prime habitat and mates.  Learn about salmon life cycles, watershed awareness, and water quality fundamentals.  Tell your own fish stories.  Or just observe!  Most of all, bring your family and friends!

Welcome the autumn and the salmon!

5,000+ school fish are now imprinting at the Carkeek Park!

Nancie Hernandez helps students count fish and learn how to safely add fish to the fish pond; St. Benedict, March 27, 2017

Over four weeks this Spring, 28 schools in the Salmon in the Schools program brought their fish to the Carkeek Imprint Pond to be fed and imprinted by CWCAP Imprint Stewards.  The school fish will now be fed 3 times per day, 7 days a week until May 13 when they’ll be released at our final release party of the 2017 Imprinting Season.

Each of these 28 schools received 220 salmon eggs that they observed while they hatched and then grew for 3 months into healthy 2 inch salmon fry.  Students observed the remarkable developmental transformation of young salmon while incorporating science, math, and cultural curricula into their experience.


Now their salmon fry will be cared for over the next few weeks while they are fed and imprinted with the mineral and chemical signature or smell of the Piper’s Creek Watershed.  It’s very particular scent will be imprinted in special cells in the developing salmon so that they will be able to locate these home waters when they return to spawn in 3 to 5 years.

The following 28 schools raised salmon eggs to about 2 inch fry in chilled 55 gallon aquariums for 3 months.  Now they’re here!

Thank you Seattle Public Utilities Urban Watershed Outreach & Education and Salmon in the Schools —Seattle for in-school technical support, educational programming, and school transportation.